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Life with Lavendar in London town

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Climb Every Mountain?

In my work life I am surrounded by successful career women. Women who have clawed their way up to the top of the arts' professions. Women whom I never once thought I would have the opportunity to meet. Once upon a time I would have considered many of these people to be role models. I would have considered myself lucky to have landed any one of their jobs.

But not anymore.

I am lucky. I am lucky that my current job has allowed me to meet and work with these women. To see that up close, all that glitters is not always gold.

These women will have had made significant personal sacrifices to get where they are. I know they all work hard and have persevered for years against constant obstacles. I know that they have beat off hundreds, even thousands of competitors to survive in their chosen environment. Up close they do not seem particularly hardened but they are as tough they come.

Knowing this makes me feel distinctly uneasy. Why?

Because I don't want to get to where they are and have become like that. But to get to where they are, I don't think there is a choice. The arts world in London (and everywhere else) is dirty and grasping. As soon as you get a known profile, the knives come out. You have to get your hands filthy to survive and the higher up you are, the grottier they potentially get.

When I was little, my mother, to warn me off a career in politics used to say:

All politcians are corrupt. Even if they start off with good intentions, to stay and succeed in the game, they have to become crooked. A good politician is a contradiction in terms
.

So where does that leave me?

With clean hands but no career? Or with a potential career but at what cost?

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